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John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

 

The letter is, of course, completely sensible.

However, these are all things that those of us who are able to work at being informed on important matters already understood. Nothing here is new.

The problem with the approach of the academics is that “Western media” are treated as though they were something they in fact are not.

Western media, the major broadcasters and newspapers, are actually owned by relatively small group of large corporate interests after years of mergers and take-overs.

Moreover, they have lost some of their most traditional sources of revenue – as, for example, classified advertising in big cities, something which now belongs to the Internet. So, their financial ability to do more extensive or better quality reportage is greatly reduced.

None of them is in any way an independent source of journalism. None.

And they proved that to us overwhelmingly with Trump’s election, during which they lined up like the troops of a foreign power rather than as objective journalists. The case of Syria was even worse, but many ordinary people had no way of fully understanding what was going on. They never saw Syrian or Russian speakers or independent critics the way they saw Trump on the hustings contradicting the corporate press’s claims.

To even expect large corporate interests, who depend on the American government for many things – from permissions and licenses to favors with leaks and interviews – to behave much differently than they have done is actually pretty naïve.

It is only new competition that will stir things up a bit and create some change, and we are very much seeing that happen before our eyes on the Internet.

Alternate media were very influential in Trump’s victory, and he knows it. He has already demonstrated in a few ways that he intends to formalize the changing media situation – from giving accreditation to an alternate media site to asking questions of reporters at the back of the press room and to avoiding the traditional wave to the press corps when he leaves on Air Force One.

One thing is certain, things in the Western press are changing and changing fast.

 

 

 

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